I’ve gotten behind in posting installments of Lessons Learned! I’ll give you a little synopsis of what’s happened so far, but feel free to start at the beginning and read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5 , 6 and 7 for the complete story, especially if you’re new to my blog. 🙂
Regina loved Bobby back in high school, they had a huge fight and split up before they knew she was pregnant. When she lost the baby, she tried to get in touch with him but he never came to the hospital. They hadn’t spoken since, until they meet up in the airport on Maui, where they’re unknowingly standing up at the same wedding. They’ve talked some and Bobby insists he never knew about the baby, which has Reggie totally confused about her feelings for him. He’s always called her Gina and she always called him Bobby, but their friends (Jaime and Mike from my short story Eyes Wide Open) know them as Reggie and Rob.
I had just finished telling my story to Jamie about losing the baby and Bobby when we were seniors in high school and how Bobby insisted he never knew I was pregnant when my cellphone vibrated. I didn’t recognize the number and debated whether or not to answer. Finally I flicked my nail across the screen and said, “Hello?”
It was Bobby. “Can we get together and do something? Maybe just walk down the beach? Swim, snorkel, maybe?”
“Sure, I guess,” I say. “Are we gonna do something with Mike and Jamie?”
“Yeah, I think they want to make sure we’re okay together. You know, for the wedding.”
“Bobby, did you, uh, tell Mike the whole story?”
Silence greeted me. “I, well, it was okay, right? You don’t mind, do you?”
“No, I guess not…” I sigh. I mean, I told Jamie.
He breathes out loudly. “So maybe Mike and I will just come over where you are?”
“Sure,” I say. Might as well get past any awkwardness. “Yeah, fine, I saw you at the restaurant awhile ago anyway.”
So we walk on the beach for an hour or so and after the initial awkwardness of introducing Bobby to Jamie, we’re all fine together. Everyone decides that after having a quick lunch we’ll go swimming and snorkeling down by what they call Black Rock, which is literally that, a protrusion of black lava rock out into the ocean that we hear is a great place to snorkel. At night during dinner there’s a cliff diver at the Sheraton Hotel who climbs up Black Rock and dives into the ocean.
Jamie and Mike are walking ahead of us and off in their own little dream world, arms wrapped around each other, whispering, stopping to nuzzle and kiss. Bobby and I follow several steps behind, but it doesn’t feel awkward, not really. We have so much history that it almost feels, well, normal to be together. And yet, we’re not together at all, just two people with some painful shared memories. But the islands do that, all blue water and sparkly sand, and with a burst of the trade winds everyday problems just blow away and fairy tales start to feel real.
We spend a few hours swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters, spotting beautiful, brightly colored fish seemingly right under the surface. But when we swim over scuba divers near the ocean floor, I realize how deep the water is and look around quickly for the shoreline. Bobby is next to me in a blur asking what’s wrong. I didn’t realize he was so close behind me. I quickly shake my head that it’s nothing and start paddling for shore. People at the snorkel rental store had told us to walk into and out of the water backwards because of the flippers and though it wasn’t easy, it was more manageable. I admit I was happy to have Bobby’s arm to grab onto as we walked over the rocky shoreline to flop down on our towels. And even his hand low on my back felt — comfortable.
We had a couple of hours to relax and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner party that night. Jamie and Mike had decided to have a little intimate dinner at the hotel restaurant after a run through of their wedding vows on the beach.
I’m not sure why, but tears were stinging my eyes by the time the evening was over. The love in that room was just palpable and even though I felt a twinge of envy, I was truly happy for them. Bobby and I had easy roles — I’d hold Jamie’s flowers and he would hand over the rings when it was time. We would sign our names as witnesses. Easy peasy. I could do this. I just have to focus on the two of them and forget that I’m standing up with Bobby. If only he’d stop looking at me like I was dinner…
(to be continued…soon!)